Monday, 29 March 2010

Ne'er cast a cloot till May be oot


Introducing my Granny. Who sadly died in the early 90's.
Many of us have lots of phrases that have been passed down to us from wise old ladies.
Granny Duthie - or 'Granny up a north' as we called her because she lived in Sandhaven which is about 50 miles north of Aberdeen, a long way from our Midlands home.

A few weeks ago I was on the beach with the dogs, almost warm and feeling summer on its way. Saturday the clocks sprung forwards so the weather should be getting better.
I was even thinking of putting my big coat away for its summer rest.
But it seems no one told the weather it should be getting better as tonight on the last dog walk I got snowed on AGAIN!
It reminded me of an old saying

' Ne'er cast a cloot till May be oot'

I always thought this was a Scottish saying, as many of the terms are unknown to my English friends but it seems it is an old English saying.

Anyway, to translate for those who have lost touch with the roots of their language ;D

Cloot - Can mean clod of earth or a smack round the head but in the case of this saying it means cloth
Ne'er - Never

So the first bit means Dont put away your warm clothes

Oot - out

There seems to be some confusion about what May it is - some people even say 'ne'er cast a cloot till the month of May be oot'
But the Hawthorn tree used to be called the May tree and its blooms were called 'May'
So it is likely that the May in this saying is the Hawthorn blooms rather than the month of May
Dont put away your warm clothes until the Hawthorn blooms are out

The Hawthorn blooms late April early May, but as we are further north up here in Paisley I think I will wait till the end of May before retiring the big coat.

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